The Goldbergs (S04E11) “O Captain, My Captain”

Review: Ever since Beverly got her teaching certificate, that subject has been a returning plot on the show. After watching Dead Poets Society, Beverly is motivated to inspire the students in her upcoming substitution class just as much as “Mork from Ork” did in the movie. This proves to be harder than she thought because the students don’t want to learn anything, especially not when there’s a sub. Beverly keeps trying to get Barry to study, but it doesn’t work. Murray secretly steps in and tells him that this is exactly what Bev wants: if Barry fails his classes, he won’t go to college and not leave the house so she will have to take care of him forever. This finally motivates Barry enough to study and ace the class. He is so happy about this that he needs to rub it in his mom’s face that ‘her evil plan’ of keeping him home for the rest of his life has failed, but Beverly is nothing but happy that she finally unlocked his potential. Confused about Bev’s happiness, Barry gives up learning and when Beverly hears that it was Murray who got Barry to study, she decides to quit as a sub. Murray needs to make things right and tells Barry that Beverly always knew what he could do. Barry shows Beverly by ‘O captain, my captain’-ing her and he thanks her for always believing in him.

Meanwhile, in the awkward world of puberty and growing up, Adam and Emmy get into a fight because he doesn’t seem to understand the problems teenage girls go through and compares them to his own problems. When his own solutions make the situation even worse, Adam goes to Erica for advice, but instead of helping him out, she teaches him a lesson about how it feels to be embarrassed. Erica tells Adam that all Emmy needs is someone to talk to, instead of someone who is absorbed with his own problems. Adam realizes that he messed up with his best friend so when he hears some guys talking about her, he stands up for Emmy (even risking getting trashed) and fixes their friendship.

This episode had a lot of great character development, from Adam being a little more understanding and standing up for his best friend to Barry actually liking a class in school. The best part about this episode was probably the real footage. It may have seemed unreal that Barry was able to do well in school, but the fact that he became a doctor in real life proves otherwise.

The episode was hilarious, with some great dialogue and funny lines. I loved the conversation between Adam and Coach Mellor about ‘double skinning’, which was so fast and ridiculous, something The Goldbergs usually does very well. Both storylines had a great, heartfelt ending, which showed once again that the writers really know how to find the perfect balance between funny and heartwarming.

Rating: 9.5/10